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How cold is too cold for my duck?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My zesty is 5 months old now. I have him outside in his house, ill try to post a picture later of it.  the ground is covered in hay but as winter starts to come in im worried about him getting cold.He is by himself so he has no friends to huddle for warmth with. I live in miami, so the winters tend to be no lower than the 40s for just a day or too but windy. when this happens should i  bring him inside my house or just cover his pen with sheets to block the wind? How cold is too cold for my duck?  i work long hours so i need to be prepared for him.

post #2 of 18

Hi, Zesty108,

welcome-byc

While many have assured me that runner ducks can manage the New England cold just fine with enough dry insulated housing, I found last year that two of my runners are just not that robust.  From that I have concluded (guess, really) that it depends on the duck.  It also depends on the duck person's own comfort level.  Don't make yourself a nervous wreck just to live up to someone else's idea of duck management.

My solution, part 1:  First, take the ducks to the vet and have them checked out.  Her observation:  Your ducks hate the cold.

My solution, part 2:  Since I have a walk-out basement, and plenty of room in it, set up an indoor pen for storms and freezing temperatures.  Done and done.

They still spend most of their days outdoors in their pen, which is attached to their spring/summer/fall house and porch.  That works very well for us, and I am home soon enough most days to get them into the basement pen before dark.

When I cannot do that, I either arrange for someone (neighbor, friend) to move them from the day pen into their indoor shelter.

I have nine runners.  The basement does not smell bad.  I refresh their straw daily, manage the water carefully, and once a week or so replace the straw altogether.  It makes such good compost!

So now that I have written all about me and mine hide have you seen any indication that your duck is too chilly?  By the way, don't wait until the duck is suffering to bring him in - if it will make you feel better, make the duck a little spot in the house that's safe and easy to clean.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zesty108 

My zesty is 5 months old now. I have him outside in his house, ill try to post a picture later of it.  the ground is covered in hay but as winter starts to come in im worried about him getting cold.He is by himself so he has no friends to huddle for warmth with. I live in miami, so the winters tend to be no lower than the 40s for just a day or too but windy. when this happens should i  bring him inside my house or just cover his pen with sheets to block the wind? How cold is too cold for my duck?  i work long hours so i need to be prepared for him.


I'd say you have 1 lucky duck to have such nice temps. Ducks have down so they really can take the cold, just making sure he has a place where he can get out of the wind is the only thing i see you'd need to do. And possibly getting him a friend, they really need companionship of the own kind.

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

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Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

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post #4 of 18

Ditto Miss Lydia on getting a friend.big_smile

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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post #5 of 18

I live in Minnesota.  It gets very cold...sometimes 30 degrees BELOW zero and very windy.

When I adopted Beaker (Khaki Campbell x Cayuga), she was with about fifty other ducks.  They lived underneath a carport.  They had each other to keep warm.  When I brought her home, she only had Bunsen (Cayuga).  Fortunately, they had an insulated chicken coop that was always kept above a freezing temperate by the use of heat lamps.

Although a warmer chicken coop was an option, they mostly wanted to stay outside in the cold.

Until a few weeks ago, I had Sebastian (Sebastopol goose) and Gizmo (Beaker and Bunsen's now full grown baby) living inside my house.  I kept them in a 10 ft x 10 ft pen.  This was only because the new goose/duck house and coop was not finished yet.  It wasn't the most ideal situation, but it was okay.  The smell wasn't bad because I cleaned up after them daily.

I can't imagine having only one duck.  My ducks would be so lonely.  I'm sure your baby would LOVE to have a companion since they are social animals.  I've even read in several books that they NEED companions.

I would think all ducks could survive Florida temperatures just fine...as long as they have a little sheltered area and a friend.  smile

Please post a picture of him!

Heritage breed chickens along with Black Copper Marans, 3 Cayugas, a crested Khaki Campbell-Cayuga, 2 Cayuga x Khaki Campbell-Cayugas, 2 Mallards, 2 Pekins, 3 Indian Runners, a Silver Appleyard, a Magpie, and 2 Sebastopol geese.

3 mini-Dachshunds (1 smooth red, 1 smooth black & tan silver dapple, and 1 long-haired black & tan silver dapple).

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Heritage breed chickens along with Black Copper Marans, 3 Cayugas, a crested Khaki Campbell-Cayuga, 2 Cayuga x Khaki Campbell-Cayugas, 2 Mallards, 2 Pekins, 3 Indian Runners, a Silver Appleyard, a Magpie, and 2 Sebastopol geese.

3 mini-Dachshunds (1 smooth red, 1 smooth black & tan silver dapple, and 1 long-haired black & tan silver dapple).

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post #6 of 18

Hi, we live in northern Wis and it can get very cold here and our 4 runners do well as long as they have a dry place out of the wind to nest together, when we got the runners the supplier stressed that runners are very social and do not do well when kept alone. Also they do well to huddle together for warmth.

post #7 of 18

if i was you i'd be getting more ducks to keep that one company. ducks are very social animals and will be much happier with a few friends. as far as the cold all domestic breeds are from mallards. i duck hunt in january and february when the temps are around 20 degrees. birds love the cold. they'll be looking for a puddle to swim in even, couldnt care less. 40 is plenty warm for a duck. when you get around 0 you might have to worry. just give him plenty of straw

a beagle, 2 terrier mutts, 2 road island reds, barred rock, white rock, Gold laced wyandotte, easter egger, 2 light brahmas, buff orpington, black astralorp, dekalb amberlink, plus 2 pekins, 3 cayugas(2are crested), 5 black runners.
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a beagle, 2 terrier mutts, 2 road island reds, barred rock, white rock, Gold laced wyandotte, easter egger, 2 light brahmas, buff orpington, black astralorp, dekalb amberlink, plus 2 pekins, 3 cayugas(2are crested), 5 black runners.
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbohn80 

if i was you i'd be getting more ducks to keep that one company. ducks are very social animals and will be much happier with a few friends. as far as the cold all domestic breeds are from mallards. i duck hunt in january and february when the temps are around 20 degrees. birds love the cold. they'll be looking for a puddle to swim in even, couldnt care less. 40 is plenty warm for a duck. when you get around 0 you might have to worry. just give him plenty of straw


You can DUCK hunt in January and February? Edited to say I did see a  January south and coastal season and special sea duck season ,but only geese for Feb. unless Im missing something on your NJ fish and game website. I ask this because Im thinking of hunting there. Also I was wondering if you can shoot a harlequin there at all. Thanks


Edited by destinduck - 12/1/11 at 7:58am
Quack Addict.  About 60 exotic and migratory waterfowl here but love to hunt ducks as well. Ironic huh? Also raise some ornamental pheasants and some peafowl as well. And a very understanding wife of over 25 years!                                                                                                                           
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Quack Addict.  About 60 exotic and migratory waterfowl here but love to hunt ducks as well. Ironic huh? Also raise some ornamental pheasants and some peafowl as well. And a very understanding wife of over 25 years!                                                                                                                           
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post #9 of 18

I agree with the rest, get a friend not only will it provide companionship  but it always gives warmth. I'm right at 0 or 32F  and all my Muscovy are outside, forging and messing about with the water and snow..  It's been as low as -7C(19F) overnight and my water hasn't froze over in my duck barn, their are 8 birds total.. so as you can see have several for sure provides warmth. Mine would be thrilled with a 40 degree day lol

~ Firefly Farms home to

 

Ducks-      

                                                     

Muscovy, Calls, Buff orpington & Pekin  

 

Chickens-

 

 Ameraucana, Ameraucana x(ie Easter Eggers), Silkies, Showgirls, Malines, Bielefelder & Bantam Cochin

 

Plus Miniature horses, Sheep & lionhead rabbits, Plus fish, dogs, cats & parrots.

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~ Firefly Farms home to

 

Ducks-      

                                                     

Muscovy, Calls, Buff orpington & Pekin  

 

Chickens-

 

 Ameraucana, Ameraucana x(ie Easter Eggers), Silkies, Showgirls, Malines, Bielefelder & Bantam Cochin

 

Plus Miniature horses, Sheep & lionhead rabbits, Plus fish, dogs, cats & parrots.

Reply
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Quackers 

I agree with the rest, get a friend not only will it provide companionship  but it always gives warmth. I'm right at 0 or 32F  and all my Muscovy are outside, forging and messing about with the water and snow..  It's been as low as -7C(19F) overnight and my water hasn't froze over in my duck barn, their are 8 birds total.. so as you can see have several for sure provides warmth. Mine would be thrilled with a 40 degree day lol


I would LOVE 40 degrees.  It's snowing right now in Minnesota.  The snow does look beautiful on their black/dark brown feathers and green heads.

Heritage breed chickens along with Black Copper Marans, 3 Cayugas, a crested Khaki Campbell-Cayuga, 2 Cayuga x Khaki Campbell-Cayugas, 2 Mallards, 2 Pekins, 3 Indian Runners, a Silver Appleyard, a Magpie, and 2 Sebastopol geese.

3 mini-Dachshunds (1 smooth red, 1 smooth black & tan silver dapple, and 1 long-haired black & tan silver dapple).

Reply

Heritage breed chickens along with Black Copper Marans, 3 Cayugas, a crested Khaki Campbell-Cayuga, 2 Cayuga x Khaki Campbell-Cayugas, 2 Mallards, 2 Pekins, 3 Indian Runners, a Silver Appleyard, a Magpie, and 2 Sebastopol geese.

3 mini-Dachshunds (1 smooth red, 1 smooth black & tan silver dapple, and 1 long-haired black & tan silver dapple).

Reply
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